Posted tagged ‘pouffy dresses’

“There is not so variable a thing in nature as a lady’s head-dress.”

April 20, 2019

I woke up at an ungodly hour, 4:30. I tried to go back to sleep but couldn’t so here I am downstairs drinking my morning coffee and watching 2 Lava 2 Lantula, a sequel to Lavalantula. The fire-breathing arachnids are back.

The Easter Bunny comes no matter what. Santa only comes if you’re good, but the Easter Bunny doesn’t care. Parental threats about losing a chocolate rabbit if you’re bad don’t amount to much. Whoever dreamed up the Easter Bunny lost a great opportunity for keeping kids in line.

When I was a kid, pouffy dresses, hats, white gloves and shiny patent leather shoes with a single strap were our Easter outfits. I still remember my mother taking us all to the shoe store. I’d walk around checking out the shoes on display until it was my turn with the salesman. When it was, he’d first check my feet in the x-ray machine and then I’d stand on the silver slide so he could check my shoe size. My mother always bought my sisters’ dresses at the Children’s Corner, a shop up town. My dress usually came from Jordan Marsh. My sisters were always far more excited than I was about new Easter clothes.

We always hoped for a warm Easter Sunday so we could show off our new clothes. Wearing a jacket spoiled the look.

I like Peeps but only if they’re hard, almost rock hard. When I was in the Peace Corps, my mother sent me an Easter package. By the time I got it, the Peeps were so stale you could bang them on the table. I loved those Peeps, and from then on my Peeps were always unwrapped for a while so they could get stale. I have no favorite color, but pink and yellow Peeps seem more like Easter.

I have no errands to do today. It is a good thing as rain is coming. The clouds have already taken over the sky and the breeze has become a wind.

The forsythias have bloomed all over the neighborhood. Everywhere I look has a bright yellow bush. That shouts spring.

“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”

March 28, 2015

Saturday has always been the best day of the week for me. Torrents of rain falling, snow covering the ground (notice I said covering) or winds tossing tree branches back and forth have mattered little to me. They are merely dramatic backdrops. On Saturday’s I don’t have to go anywhere. I don’t even have to get dressed. I love Saturday’s.

Today is rainy. Yesterday was rainy. It will rain all day into the night. The snow is just about gone. That makes me happy and even hopeful.

On Easter Sunday, my sisters loved their pouffy dresses, their white ankle socks with ruffles and their patent leather shoes. I wore dresses as well until one Easter when I wanted a more casual look. I ended up with a suit and a pink blouse with a Peter Pan collar. I don’t remember my shoes, but they weren’t patent leather. Maybe I was channeling my future self who thought she’d be a lawyer. Every Easter, in the afternoon, we’d go to my grandparent’s house in the city. Everyone was there: my aunts and uncles and too many cousins to count. I remember a conversation I overheard just before going into the kitchen. My name was mentioned so I stopped to eavesdrop. My aunt wanted to know why I wasn’t in a dress and why I was totally poufless. My suit didn’t pass muster. My mother simply said it was what she wanted.

My guest has left. She is on her way to Pittsburg. We had a wonderful visit. We toured the cape, stopped at a few shops and had a wonderful shrimp dinner last night. I had to chuckle as she always introduced herself as Francisca and then went on to say Miss Ryan was my Peace Corps teacher in Ghana 43 years ago. We laughed a lot. That’s what she thanked me of the most.

“The best men in all ages keep classic traditions alive.”

April 18, 2014

Today is yesterday and the day before: cloudy and cold. When I went to get the papers, I said good morning to the woman taking a brisk walk by my house. She was wearing a winter coat, knitted hat and gloves.  “Layered?” I asked. “Definitely!” was her answer. It is that cold this morning.

In my memory drawers the Easters of my childhood were always warm and sunny and filled with color. The traditional picture was on the front steps facing the sun and we all squinted. My straw Easter basket had alternating slats in yellow, green and red. The grass on the bottom was plastic and bright green. It struck to anything half-eaten: the candy tasted then put in the basket and saved for later. Jelly beans were big and all sorts of colors. I used to say the red was my favorite, but I think all the colors really tasted the same. The rabbit was eaten in stages. I was an ears first kid.

Easter dresses had pouffy petticoats underneath and most were in light pastels. The shoes were shiny patent leather each with a single strap across the front. My socks had a frilly, lacy top which folded over. When I was little, I couldn’t wait to get dressed in my new clothes. I’d put on my dress and turn in circles, and my dress would swish and twirl with me. I felt like a princess.

When I got older, Easter lost some of its luster for me. I still ate the rabbit’s ears first but pouff and patent leather were gone. One year I had my mother buy me a blazer, blouse and skirt combo. At my grandparent’s house Easter afternoon, I heard my aunt ask my mother about my outfit. She thought it was plain and hardly Easter. My mother told her it was what I wanted. That was enough.

I remember one Easter when I was in Ghana. It was a special day the way Easter should be. I was in Accra as I had traveled down on Good Friday, the start of school vacation week. A bunch of us went to a beach resort for the afternoon. I remember walking along the shore and then stopping to play coconut. We used a palm tree branch as the bat and a coconut as the ball. The game was fun. The whole day was fun. That night we all went to out to eat at a nice restaurant, not our usual hole-in-the-wall. The restaurant even had potatoes.

Easter still has traditions some dating back to my childhood. I sneak down early in the morning and decorate a tree by my friends’ deck. They give me a basket, and I do baskets for them. I always eat the rabbit’s ears first. We get dressed up and go to a fancy restaurant for dinner. We sit and enjoy the view of the ocean. We have the best time together.